Phil Mickelson was not able to match his first round heroics, but he was able to put together a round good enough to lead the Open Championship going into the third round at Royal Troon. Though, unlike day one his lead is very narrow as Henrik Stenson had himself a day and drew to within a stroke. Lurking in behind Stenson is Soren Kjeldsen and Keegan Bradley both at 7-under. Behind them is reigning Champion Zach Johnson who may have found himself much closer if he would not have melted down late in each of his first two rounds. With that said, he is 5-under and only 5 strokes off the pace.
Friday was much different from Thursday weather wise and as the day went on, it only got worse. Along with the weather, the scores also progressively got worse. The Conditions were so bad that on the par three 14th, “Alton” as it is named, Jason Day played a 5 iron on the hole. The hole is 173 yards and his second shot was from 60 yards out. He was able to get up and down and par the hole. Imagine if you will, what a normal player would have to hit there in order to convert. The rain and wind blew so hard at times the umbrellas were placed in front of the players and not over top of them. Yes, we have all seen sideways rain and wind. But have we ever played golf in that kind of weather? How about play one of the games Great Courses in the oldest tournament on the tour? Yea, me neither.
The morning conditions were the best of the day and I think Phil Mickelson probably feels like he did not take enough advantage of the situation. He bogeyed the two holes of the tournament today but was able to keep things in check.
Henrik Stenson on the other hand, was on fire today as he would post a 65 with 7 birdies and just one bogey. He was able to get through his round in just 28 putts. I say just 28 because these players are used to playing on greens with a minimum of an 11 on the Stimp meter. Today, it was much closer to an 8 which is what you would find on a wet municipal course near your home. It was a tough day to putt and he was very successful. Although he hit 89% of the greens in regulation and was able to convert more times than not.
Notables that did not make the cut and are not playing this weekend include Ernie Els, John Daly, and Louis Oosthuizen.
The Pairings are out for Saturday and here they are, courtesy TheOpenChampionship.com